[OS X TeX] Why does this hang so = [OT] electronic books

Robert Bruner rrb at math.wayne.edu
Wed Oct 28 13:11:27 EDT 2009

Victor said:

> On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 7:36 PM, Herbert Schulz <herbs at wideopenwest.com> wrote:
> > Howdy,
> >
> > While I was still teaching (I've been retired since 2001 after too many
> > years teaching Physics at a local Community College) it seemed to me that
> > most of the expense was because they went over to fancy color diagrams and
> > kept on removing topics and doing a worse job of explaining things. All
> > flash, no content, just like I've, for the most part, seen everywhere else.
> Agreed! The typesetting textbooks with 9" margins full of fancy but
> rather irrelevant pictures is not for advanced author
> And all successive editions differ mainly by shuffling of the text and
> problems (so if the instructor gives home assignments using textbook
> problems then all students must have the same edition)

In my experience (32 years teaching math since PhD) the 3rd edition of
a text is usually optimal:  there are error corrections and genuine
improvements in the 2nd and 3rd editions.  After that, the new editions
are issued to make it impossible for students to use used texts, and,
with no real reason for the changes, they make the text worse, not

You may accuse me of cynicism, and I will probably agree, noting that
there are good reasons to be cynical about the business of textbook
publishing.  The texts of my youth were much smaller and had greater

Yuri Manin gave an interesting interview in the Nov. 2009 Notices of
the AMS,


in which he notes (p. 1269)

   "The marketplace debases three areas: health care, 
   education, and culture."


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